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School of Law

CEILA Key Note Series: Professor Peter Lindseth - “Supranational Organizations”

29 October 2015

Time: 12:00 - 2:00pm
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

The Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA) Key Notes in EU and International Law

The Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA) Key Notes series is intended for early academics and more established scholars undertaking cutting-edge research in EU and international law (as well as their interaction) to share their thoughts and spark debate, engaging in a discussion with colleagues and a wider audience.

About the talk

This talk builds on Professor Lindseth’s new chapter, ‘Supranational Organizations’, forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of International Organizations, as well as his monograph Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State (OUP 2010). Professor Lindseth argues that supranational organizations (SNOs) – most importantly the EU – are best understood, in legal-historical terms, as an extension of administrative governance on the national level. Although exercising extensive normative power across a whole range of regulatory domains, SNOs are unable to mobilize significant resources in their own right, whether fiscal (taxing, spending, and borrowing) or human (policing, defence, i.e., coercion whether internal or external). The EU, qua SNO, ultimately depends on democratic and constitutional legitimacy derived from, and mediated through, the executive, legislative, and judicial bodies of the member states. This ‘separation of power and legitimacy’ is the key indicator of the EU’s ultimately ‘administrative’ character, and it has profound implications for the EU’s capacity to act in an autonomous manner. The theoretical perspective animating Professor Lindseth’s work is born of a particular historical understanding of the evolution of public law and institutions in the North Atlantic world over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This talk will explore that understanding, while also noting some of its potential consequences, particularly with regard to some of the crises (the Eurozone, refugees) currently afflicting the EU.

Chair: Nick Bernard (QMUL)

Professor Peter Lindseth (Connecticut; Visiting Professor QMUL) 'Supranational Organisations'

Peter L. Lindseth is the Olimpiad S. Ioffe Professor of International and Comparative Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he is also Director of International Programs. In addition, he is currently a Visiting Professor in the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London and a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford. His work focuses on European integration, comparative administrative law, international economic law, and the legal history of public governance. His books include Power and Legitimacy: Reconciling Europe and the Nation-State (OUP 2010) and, with Susan Rose-Ackerman, Comparative Administrative Law (Elgar 2010; 2d edition forthcoming). His articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, and Contemporary European History, among other publications. He holds a B.A. and J.D. from Cornell and a Ph.D. in European history from Columbia.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Register online via Eventbrite.


For more information on this event, please email

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